Achievements

Luke Fairless

Luke Fairless started Musical Theatre at EMPAS as a boy, when teachers spotted potential in Luke, he then began training in dance. He has succeeded in many competitions, festivals and bursaries within EMPAS from a young age. In 2017, Luke was scouted by Lukas Mcfarlane at NE Dance Live and began training in London on his SEEDS Programme. In 2017, Luke received 3rd commendation for Tap Grades at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards. In 2018, he received Runner Up in the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards for Theatre Craft Grades and was a finalist in the Tap Grades. In 2019, Luke received the Veronica Tweedle Award after receiving runner up in the Ballet Grades class at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards, Luke also received a special commendation for the Modern Jazz Grades and was a finalist in the Theatre Craft Grades. At the age of 14 Luke was offered a full MDS Scholarship and a boarding place at Tring Park for Performing Arts and commenced full time study in September 2018. In 2020, Luke won the IDTA Ken Dodd award in Tap as well as the Tap Performers and Theatre Craft Performers at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards and was invited to represent the IDTA in the TDCI Scholarships in Performers Ballet & Performers Tap. Luke has completed his training with Tring Park for Performing Arts and has secured his Diploma 4 in Teaching with the IDTA.

Samantha Varty

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Samantha Varty started at EMPAS from a young age. She achieved many successes as a child and into her teenage years she continued to succeed within the IDTA with Theatre Award Scholarship nominations and making it into the Grand Final of Miss Dance of Great Britain after winning the Newcastle Heat in 2012. In 2012 she received a full DADA scholarship to attend Bird College of Dance in London. In her third year she was awarded the ‘Most Improved’ award from the college. After graduating in 2015 Samantha secured herself her first job working for P&O Cruises Australia. The following year she began working in Disneyland Paris in the production of ‘Mickey & The Magician” and she was then asked back to perform with P&O Cruises Australia. Samantha has worked as Show Cast Manager on the Marella Explorer 2 and has secured a job as manager onboard P&O Cruises Australia for 2020. In June 2020, Samantha was successful in securing a job with Gandey’s Circus and in 2021 was back working for TED productions onboard Marella Cruises as Dance Captain. Samantha has recently completed another contract with Marella Discovery as the Show Cast Manager and Dance Captain!

Kathryn Hitchcock

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Kathryn Hitchcock started at EMPAS from a young age, having a passion for dancing, singing and performing she put her heart into everything she did. She was successful throughout her time at EMPAS with various Theatre Award scholarship nominations at a performers level. At the age of 18 Kathryn secured herself a place on the degree course at Bird College of Dance in London. Following in Samantha’s footsteps, Kathryn went on to receive the award for ‘Most Improved” student after her second year. After three years Kathryn left Bird with a 1st Class Honours Degree and was awarded the prestigious ‘Doreen Bird Award” upon completion. Kathryn was offered her first job immediately and starred as the part of ‘Ali’ in Mamma Mia on Royal Caribbean Cruises. After completing her first contact Kathryn has worked as a performer on P&O Cruises and has completed a contract on board Oriana.

Bethany Whittle

Bethany Whittle attended EMPAS from a young age and has always achieved many successes over the years, performing in local shows, competitions and receiving scholarship nominations. Bethany attended Phil Winston’s Theatre Works in Blackpool and in 2011 was crowned ‘Miss Dance of Great Britain’. 2011 was a busy year for Bethany, as she was selected to perform in ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ on BBC One as a reserve for the show, after making it to the final round, she also auditioned for ‘Got to Dance’ on Sky One with dance partner James and after receiving 3 gold stars made it through the final round. In 2012 Bethany performed in the famous Thursford’s Big Christmas Spectacular show and in 2013 was offered a contract with P&O Cruises. Bethany is currently living in London and working full time, often travelling to work in various cities around the country to perform. Bethany was recently dance captain in Cardiff over the pantomime season and worked the summer season as a Resort Director for TED Productions.

More Achievements

2024 – Rayanah Baruani has received an offer to train full time at Bird College.

2024 – Katie Moore is the Infant Overall IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner and Charlotte Turnbull is the Infant Theatre IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner.

2024 – Freya Mitchinson and Grace McCrindle are the Junior Overall IDTA Tyneside Bursary winners and Eleanor Welsh is the Junior Theatre IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner.

2024 – Anya Tumia and Libby Smith are the Senior Overall IDTA Tyneside Bursary winners, Hannah Quigley is the Senior Ballet IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner and Libby Donnelly is the Senior Theatre IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner.

2024 – Libby Smith has successfully auditioned to be a CYD Dance Star Company Member for 2024.

2024 – Anya Tumia won the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards Tap Grades class.

2024 – Eleanor Welsh is Intermediate Ballet Champion at LA Talent North East.

2024 – Anya Tumia is Senior Ballet and Senior Lyrical Champion at LA Talent North East.

2024 – Libby Donnelly & Libby Smith both received offers to train full time at Bird College, Performers College and Wilkes Academy. Libby Donnelly has accepted her place at Bird College and Libby Smith has accepted her place at Performers College.

2023 – Anya Tumia is SA Senior Lyrical Champion.

2023 – Libby Smith is SA Senior Modern Champion.

2023 – Owen Clark received the Nora Lycette Fearn Memorial Award at the RAD Memorial Dance Day.

2023 – Libby Smith is in the Miss Dance of Great Britain 2024 Final after winning the Workington Musical Festival heat.

2023 – Nieve Davidson has successfully auditioned for SMB Company’s Senior Programme.

2023 – Owen Clark has successfully auditioned for Northern Ballet’s Senior Associate Programme.

2023 – Nieve Davidson is Senior Ballet Champion at LA Talent North East Championship.

2023 – Jemma Quigley is Senior Jazz Champion at Motion Studio’s Choreography Championship.

2023 – Libby Smith has successfully auditioned to be a CYD Dance Star Company Member for 2023.

2022 – Libby Smith is the Sunderland Senior Lyrical Champion.

2022 – Libby Smith is in the Miss Dance of Great Britain 2023 Final after winning the Workington Musical Festival heat.

2022 – Lara Sky Wisby has successfully auditioned for the role of Shprintze in WEOS production of Fiddler on the Roof at Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2022 – Faith Bowron has successfully auditioned for the degree course at Bird College, London.

2022 – Anya Tumia is Junior Lyrical Champion at Motion Studio’s Choreography Championship.

2022 – Lara Sky Wisby is awarded the NODA Youth Rising Star Award following her performance as Gretl in Sound of Music.

2022 – Cody Martin is awarded the NODA Councillors District Award for ‘Rising Star’ following his performance as Michael in Elf the Musical.

2022 – Willow Mitchinson successfully auditioned for Royal Ballet Junior Associates Programme.

2022 – Libby Smith is in the TDCI World Performer Final after winning the Tees Valley Heat.

2022 – Libby Donnelly is in the Miss Dance of Great Britain Final after winning the Whit Festival heat.

2022 – Champions of the CYD Junior Regionals in Newcastle.

2022 – Eleanor Welsh successfully auditioned for Royal Ballet Mid-Associates Programme to continue her training.

2022 – Libby Smith is awarded the Pam Tidmarsh Award at the IDTA Theatre Awards after placing runner-up in the Modern Grades class.

2022 – Libby Smith is the Senior Theatre IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner and Hannah Quigley is the Senior Overall IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner.

2022 – Nieve Davidson is the Junior Ballet IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner and Anya Tumia & Lily Anderson are the Junior Overall IDTA Tyneside Bursary winners.

2022 – Willow Mitchinson is the Infant Ballet IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner and Bea Penny is the Infant Theatre IDTA Tyneside Bursary winner.

2022 – Anya Tumia is Junior Ballet Champion at Motion Studio’s Choreography Championship.

2022 – Luke Fairless has successfully auditioned for Urdang Degree Course.

2021 – Eleanor Welsh was successful in making it the semi-finals for White Lodge Royal Ballet School.

2021 – Libby Smith is the Senior Supreme Winner at LA Stage Festival.

2021 – Cody Martin was successful in auditioning for the part of Michael in Elf the Musical at Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2021 – Libby Smith is awarded the most outstanding competitor at UKDCC Sheffield as well as placing 1st in the 14-15 Commercial section.

2021 – Faith Bowron has been accepted onto the Foundation Course at Bird College, London.

2021 – Sophie Reddy has been accepted on the Musical Theatre course at Edge Hill University.

2021 – Libby Smith is awarded the Bill Tasker Award for Theatre Craft at the 2021 IDTA Theatre Dance Awards.

2021 – Libby Smith is 14-15 Ballet Champion in The British Dance Performers Championship.

2021 – Libby Donnelly won 15-17 Most Promising Competitor in Southern Dance Class Awards.

2021 – Owen Clark won 11-12 Performance Award in Southern Dance Class Awards.

2021 – Libby Smith won Southern Dance Class Awards 13-14 Lyrical/Contemporary and 13-14 Most Promising Competitor.

2021 – Eleanor Welsh successfully auditioned for Royal Ballet Junior Associates Programme.

2020 – Owen Clark won the UKDCC 11-13 Boys Only Broadway Jazz Class Virtual Championship.

2020 – Sophie Reddy was chosen to feature on the IDTA Anthem Video.

2020 – Lara Wisby was successful in securing the place of Gretl and Lily Wallace and Ruby Nicholson both secured the part of Marta in WEOS performance of The Sound of Music at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2020 – Luke Fairless won the IDTA Theatre Dance Award in Tap Performers, Theatre Craft Performers and the Ken Dodd Award in Tap and will represent the IDTA in the TDCI Scholarships in Performers Ballet & Performers Tap.

2020 – Libby Smith won the UKDCC 12-13 Modern Class Championship.

2019 – Olivia Emson successfully auditioned for Tap Attack associates programme.

2019 – Olivia Emson has successfully auditioned for CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING (CAT) course and will commence in September 2019.

2019 – Olivia Emson wins the Junior ‘Overall’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary, Libby Donnelly wins the Junior ‘Ballet’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary and Libby Smith wins the Junior ‘Modern Jazz’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2019 – Sophie Reddy wins the Senior ‘Overall’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2019 – Bethany Whittle receives a contract as a Resort Director for TED Productions.

2019 – Luke Fairless is awarded the Veronica Tweedle Award after receiving runner up in the Ballet Grades class at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards.

2019 – Kathryn Hitchcock receives a contract working as a performer on P&O’s Oriana Cruise Ship.

2018 – Libby Smith receives a place on Denman’s Theatre Associate programme.

2018 – Kady Martin receives Overall Vocal Award at NE Dance Live.

2018 – Luke Fairless receives a boarding place and a full MDS Scholarship to study full time at Tring Park School for Performing Arts.

2018 – Olivia Emson receives a place to train on Hammond’s associates programme.

2018 – Samantha Varty receives a contract working as Dance Captain onboard the new Thomson Marella cruiseline.

2017 – Hannah Elliott played the principal role of Jennifer in ‘Paint Your Wagon’ at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2017 – Elena Davidson & Luke Fairless were offered a place on ‘Got to Dance’ Star Lukas Macfarlane’s SEEDs programme in London commencing in October 2017.

2017 – Kady Martin received the National Operatic and Dramatic Association Youth Award for the North East Region for her role as Susan in White Christmas.

2017 – Olivia Emson receives a place on Denman’s musical theatre associate programme.

2017 – Kady Martin was successful in securing the lead role of Annie at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2017 – Olivia Emson wins the ‘overall’ Junior IDTA Tyneside Bursary & Kady Martin wins the ‘Ballet’ Junior IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2017 – Elena Davidson wins the ‘overall’ Senior IDTA Tyneside Bursary & Luke Fairless wins the ‘Ballet’ Senior IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2017 – Kathryn Hitchcock receives her first contact starring as ‘Ali’ in Mamma Mia onboard Carribean Cruises.

2017 – Elena Davidson wins the Theatre Craft Grades at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards.

2016 – Kathryn Hitchcock graduates from Bird College with a 1st Class Honours degree and is awarded the prestigious ‘Doreen Bird’ Award.

2016 – Samantha Varty began working in Disneyland Paris’ production of ‘Mickey & The Magician’.

2016 – Olivia Dixon commences at Sage Academy full time, studying Performing Arts.

2015 – Samantha Varty receives her first professional contact with P&O Cruises Australia.

2015 – Hannah Elliott was awarded the National Operatic and Dramatic Association ‘Rising Star’ award for the North East Region.

2014 – Kathryn Hitchcock began training at Bird College, after securing herself a place on the degree course.

2013 – Nicola Robertson plays Maria in Sound Of Music at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

2012 – Samantha Varty performs in the Miss Dance of Great Britain Final.

2012 – Samantha Varty receives a full DADA scholarship to study full-time at Bird College.

2011 – Bethany Whittle is crowned Miss Dance of Great Britain.